Saturday, February 6, 2010

#Revelation 9> Things Which Shall Be Hereafter> Trumpet Judgments ( #Prophecy )

3. The things which shall be hereafter (4-22) 
     A. Judgment on the inhabitants of the earth (4 - 19) 
          5. The trumpet judgments (8, 9, 11b) 

e. Demonic torment of man 

Angel five sounds the fifth trumpet, which is the beginning of "woes", a more intense round of suffering for people on earth. Is this messenger Satan, or another angel? 

Those who think it is Satan point to the fact that the angel fell from heaven to the earth, that he is referred to as "king" of the demons (cf. Luke 8:31), and that his name means "destruction". 

Those who believe the angel is not Satan, but a good angel, refer to Revelation 20:1, where an "angel" comes down from heaven, with the key to the abyss, and binds Satan there. They indicate that he is an angel "fallen" from heaven, not a "fallen" angel, and that this shows only the quickness with which the first woe begins. In any case, the focus is on the fact that these judgments are a "woe" to the people on earth. 

Luke 8:31 refers to the abyss as the place where demons entreated Christ not to make them depart. This is strengthened by the term "bottomless pit", the nature of the creatures which proceed from it, and the fact that the angel named "destruction" is their king (cf. 11). The locusts, which issue from the pit, seem to be demons. 

Even in the midst of such a woe, God is sovereign. He sets the boundaries in which the demons may operate, by commanding them not to hurt the vegetation of the earth (as a true locust would). 

As agents of torment, the demons bear a scorpion's sting, and "hurt" only those who do not have God's seal in their foreheads (cf. chapter 7). During their five month assault, men will somehow not be able to find "death". In the gospels, those who are the subject of demonic torment are not always free to exercise their will. 

John likens the appearance of the demons to horses prepared for battle, with crowns of gold, and faces of men. Their hair was like that of women, and their teeth like lions. These winged demons made the sound of multi-horsed chariots rushing to battle, and wore breastplates of iron. With a scorpion-like tail they had the power to hurt men for five months. These energized creatures are demons. 

Verse 11, names the angel of the bottomless pit as "Abaddon", or "Apollyon" (which means "destruction"), and calls him the "king" of the demons. This seems to indicate Satan. 

f. Demonic war on man 

With the first woe past, angel six sounds the second. A "voice" from the golden altar (8:3 indicates the altar bears the prayers of the saints, which ascend up before God) commands angel six to release the four angels from the River Euphrates. These angels were prepared (for the very hour, day, month, and year) to kill a third of mankind. This will be the second woe. 

The next thing we read, is that the number of the armies of the horsemen was "two hundred million" (NAS). Who are the "horsemen"? Are they men? And what are the horses? Are they symbolic of the weapons of modern warfare? Are they demons? 

Verse 15 seems to attribute the woe to the four angels from the Euphrates, and there seems to be a parallel between the demonic locusts and the horses. On the other hand, the riders are called horsemen, and there seems to be nothing unusual, other than their great number. Perhaps this is a large army of men, who are influenced, and energized by demons. Whatever the case, they become the agents of death for one third the world's population, and usher in the second woe. 

Explaining the vision, John describes the horses as having breastplates of fire, jacinth, and brimstone. Their heads were like lions, and their mouths issued fire, smoke, and brimstone. Like serpents, the horse's tails bore heads. Power to kill a third of mankind resided in their mouth and tails. 

Even in the event of such plagues and death, men who survive will fail to repent of their devil worship, idolatry, murders, sorceries, immoralities, or thefts.

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The Gospel

Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).


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